My Top Contemporary Picks for Summer! #SummerReading

I don’t know about you guys, but when the winter snow FINALLY disappears (which seems to take forever here where I am) and the flowers start to come out, I have a desire to read books in the sunshine. I know some people would prefer to do active things like swim, or hike, or go biking, and while being active is great, I just prefer to sit in the sunshine with a good book! And maybe a beer. And some watermelon. But don’t get the watermelon on the book!

I love reading contemporary books in the summertime, from books about family or travel or summer books that take place in sunny places on a lake or the ocean. I’m north of the mountains in the middle of Canada, so no ocean for me over here. Plus, I am at home with two littles 3 and under, so not a lot of travel, either! So I travel through my books.

So, here are my top contemporary picks for summer reading! I hope you find one that you’ll add to your own summer TBR.

    

If Only You Knew by Kristan Higgins

Kristin Higgins writes such great stories and not only was this one so good, it was crazy addicting! It literally kept me up reading all night long because I just couldn’t get enough. I find her books are a good mix of light and fun stories, with very relatable characters and storylines.

Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1) by Stephanie Perkins

This is one of those books I’ve read over and over again and it just never gets old! I never tire of the beautiful Paris setting, the romance, the school setting. This was my first Stephanie Perkins book and it made me fall in love! And who wouldn’t want to visit Paris in the gorgeous summer sunshine?

Me Before You (Me Before You, #1) by Jojo Moyes

Speaking of addicting stories, this is one of my all-time favourites! I laughed, I cried, and I fell in love. Jojo Moyes writes such compelling stories that put readers through a full range of emotions and this is one of her best.

By Your Side by Kasie West

Kasie West is one of my favourite, favourite authors. No matter what she releases, I will read it and most likely I’ll love it! Her stories are cute, romantic, and quick to read. And this one takes place in a library, so what’s not to love? Isn’t it every bookworms dream to fall in love in a library?

Breathe, Annie, Breathe (Hundred Oaks) by Miranda Kenneally

Remember how I said I’d prefer to sit in the sun and read a book, rather than do physical exercise in the summer? Well, if anyone is going to convince me to get up and do something active, it will be Miranda Kenneally. Her whole Hundred Oaks series is great, but this one is a favourite of mine. When I read it for the first time, I just had to run – perhaps I should put it on my own TBR again to inspire some running again!

    

Lighthouse Bay by Kimberley Freeman

Alright, this one is both a contemporary AND a historical, but it’s so so good! I love stories that weave both genres together seamlessly, especially ones like this one that take place on the ocean in a lighthouse. I will always love lighthouse books! Kimberley Freeman is such a good writer, too – she knows how to suck you in right from the first pages!

The Waiting Sky by Lara Zielen

With summer weather comes summer storms and this book packs a punch with its tornado-chasing characters. Twister is one of my favourite movies and this brings stories like that to the page. It was exciting and intense, not just with the storm chasing, but with some family drama and a little romance thrown in.

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

I love Morgan Matson’s books and this will always remain my favourite. The emotions are high in this story and even though it takes place in a beautiful setting in the summertime, it was incredibly sad! That being said, if you don’t mind having some tissues on hand, this is a beautiful book that’s perfect for summer!

My Not-So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella 

I just read this one this year and loved it so much – which is what I say about pretty much every Sophie Kinsella book. I think any of her books are perfect for the summer but I really loved this story. Katie’s trips to her father’s farm just made me long for summer days and cool breezes on a hot day. Plus the story has a great message. You’ll love it!

The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

This was one of the first new adult books I had read (well, one of the first books marketed as new adult) and it was such a great book. It was one of those hyped up reads that I didn’t think could be as good as people said, but from the first few pages I was hooked and I just loved the story. Since then I’ve been keeping my eye out for anything new from Katja Millay because she’s such a great writer!

What are your summer contemporary book recommendations? 

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CANADA DAY: My Favourite Books By Canadian Authors

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Happy Canada Day to all my Canadian readers!

One of my favourite things about Canada Day is checking out the local festivities. Usually, there’s a special farmer’s market going on somewhere, all-day-long music, and tons of people showing their love of all things Canada!

Of course, I couldn’t let the day pass without acknowledging some of my favourite Canadian reads. There are so many amazing authors across this beautiful country — so many, that I’ve dedicated a special spot in my home library just for Canadian books.

So, if you’re in the mood to celebrate the day with a good book, here are a few to whet your Canadian appetite.

For the dystopian lover: 

The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood

This is one of my favourite dystopian books and one that I consumed within a day. Margaret Atwood is an amazing writer of both poetry and fiction, writing amazing stories with even more amazing characters. She is a real Canadian gem. The Handmaid’s Tale is beautifully crafted and one of the best dystopians out there. If you’re in the mood for one and don’t want to invest in a trilogy, I strongly suggest you give this one a try.

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For the picture book lover:

Scaredy Squirrel, by Melanie Watt

Melanie Watt is a Montreal writer of children’s books that mix fantastic artwork with over-the-top humour. Scaredy Squirrel was introduced to me by a friend and from the instant we started reading the book aloud (keep in mind — we’re both 30-some-years-old), we were laughing and laughing. Since then, I try to pick up any Melanie Watt book I find, though so far, I admit, Scaredy Squirrel is my ultimate favourite. I dare you to read it and not crack a smile!

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